Warning: This post contains spoilers about the Dec. 3 episode of Grey's Anatomy.
Grey's Anatomy has done it again.
On the heels of Derek's (Patrick Dempsey) shocking return, the show brought back another fan favorite, this time going even further back into the series' history. With Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) still battling COVID-19 — and now sleeping much of the day — we got another glimpse into her dream world, the same one where her husband greeted her on the beach weeks ago.
But this time, her visit led her to another familiar face. When she turned to a nearby lifeguard tower, she found... GEORGE O'MALLEY (T.R. Knight). George was an original intern alongside Meredith when the show first began, and for the first five seasons, he was one of Meredith's best friends. (And at one point, he was in love with her.)
Knight hadn't appeared on the series' since George's shocking death — he was dragged under a bus after saving a stranger — in the season 5 finale. (No, we're not counting that time they used old footage of him.)
As the episode continued, George and Meredith got to catch up. He told her that her kids were "great." How does he know? "I check in sometimes," he said. When Meredith asked him if she gets to decide if she stays or goes back to her kids, George didn't think so. Destroying all of us, he told her, "I would've stayed if I could've."
The duo then took a stroll on the beach to discuss grief and that one time everyone laughed at George's funeral. (He loved it.)
In the end, Meredith got the chance to tell George that his heroism set an example that she couldn't ignore after he died. As she told him, "You changed my life, George."
Knight took to Instagram to say, "George O'Malley will always claim my heart." See his post, as well as some photos from the episode, below: